a man 6,89 foot (210 cm) tall and weighing 23,62 stones (150
kg), who takes a size 36 (Swedish) shoe (English size 4) .
. . . . . !”
Other factors affecting the shape of the hoof, that we have
not covered, are diet, gait, and what the horse stands and
When a horse has reached 5 years of age one can assume that
its hooves are fully developed and can cope with the duties
of a workhorse.
The Shire seems to be especially prone to cracking in the
hoof wall, which is known by different names depending on
where the crack occurs and how severe it is. It is often caused
by poor quality horn, which can be hereditary. Dry, brittle
horn allows hooves to crack. With all due deference to oil
and hoof dressings – hooves need water! Other causes
underlying hoof cracking can be overloading, careless trimming
and shoeing, and the ground conditions and temperature. Horn
quality has often been improved by feeding special diets of
certain products. It may be worth trying.
A useful tip to keep the feather out of the way when trimming
or shoeing is to draw a gauze tube over the hoof. This can
be bought at the chemist´s in several sizes (normally
used as bandaging). Another tip is to tie up the feather in
small bunches, using hairbands or elastic bands. It is very
important that the blacksmith can see the angle of the hoof
when working on it and shoeing a horse. The hoof angle should
be about 45 degrees.
Shoe sizes for Shire horses vary from 7 upwards, depending
on the manufacturer and where they are made, so be on your
A good blacksmith is worth his/her weight in gold! We are
really grateful to all those blacksmiths who who take their
job so seriously and responsibly and are prepared to shoe
Shires without flinching at their bulk and the size of their
hooves! We need you!